Author Archives: Michael James Baker

Managing Forages in a Drought – Videos and Hay Calculator

According the the most recent Drought Monitor most of the state is still abnormally dry or in moderate drought. The NNY CCE Team hosted two webinars, that are available for viewing. See note from Betsy Hodge, CCE-St. Lawrence County regarding videos and hay supplies. Bill Halfman, University of Wisconsin Extension provides a spreadsheet Estimating Winter Hay Needs for Beef Cattle that can help you calculate how much hay you will need this winter.

From Betsy:

We may be having a little rain but our pastures and forages are not out of the woods yet. If you missed the pasture drought management and feed inventory webinars we gave recently they are available to watch on-line. The links are here:

Part 1: Managing Pastures in Drought

Part 2: Stored Forages: Winter Feed Supply Beyond the Drought

A great collection of drought resources is in this shared folder: I don’t know how long this will be open to the public so look through and save the ones you want.

Many people have reported to me that they have made way less forages than usual with hay yields down 40 % in some cases. Second cut looks iffy or small so many people are short of feed. It would be a good idea to do a feed inventory and take stock of how many animals you will be carrying through the winter. You may need to buy hay or sell animals or a little of both.


Pasture Finishing Webinars

Summary: Pasture-Finishing Beef Workshops led by Greg Halich at the University of Kentucky, and Ed Rayburn at West Virginia University.  Both are extension specialists and long-time producers of grass-finished beef.  Designed for intermediate and advanced levels, there will be three two-hour sessions on consecutive evenings.  Feel-free to join for those sessions you are most interested in.

For more information and registration.

Fall Forage – What to plant and are conditions right?

Now is the time to plant brassicas (turnips, rape, kale, etc), peas, and spring grains for fall forage. Forage type oats are best at this time, so that they stay vegetative and do not go into the reproductive (grain formation) stage. If you plant a spring and fall grain together, you can have both a fall harvest and an early spring harvest. Find more details on field prep, seeding rates and soil moisture go here.

Information provided by Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program Team.

60 Days From Your Fall Feeding Plan – Webinar

Stockpiling with Troy Bishopp:  – Tuesday, August 11th – 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Are you ready to feed grass this fall? This webinar will discuss the realities of stockpiling perennial pastures for the 2020 fall and winter grazing season. It’s a practical venture into the decision-making and pasture management strategies to get more grazing days and offset feeding costs without sacrificing animal performance. Will the plan match reality? Only 60 days to find out. Our speaker is Troy Bishopp, aka, The Grass Whisperer, who is a proactive grazier of 35 years and a grazing professional at the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District in NY. This webinar is co-organized and co-sponsored by Vermont Grass Farmers and The Livestock Institute. This is the fourth webinar in a six-part webinar series that will cover several strategies for grazing season extension and alternative forage production. The series is a collaboration among UMass Extension, UVM Extension, & UMaine Extension, and is supported in part by a Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant with organization and administration supported by the Livestock Institute of Southern New England with the support of the Cedar Tree Foundation. For any questions about the series, please contact Sam Corcoran at – REGISTER.

Seeds from China – do not plant.

“Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry but which actually contain plant seeds. Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating. People who receive seeds should not plant or handle the seeds. They should store them safely in a place children and pets cannot access and email USDA immediately at for instructions. Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. We will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA.”

Michael James Baker

July 24, 2020

Three-Night Aggie Beef 706 Goes Virtual
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Aggie Beef 706 program will be held virtually. Ranchers, educators and allied business people are invited to learn the same valuable concepts traditionally taught in Beef 706.

Participants will attend three successive night sessions on Aug. 11-13 from 6:30-8:45 pm. The event is free, but does require advance registration, regardless of how many sessions attended.

Farmer Relief Fund is now accepting applications for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)

Dear Colleagues,
I am forwarding the following message from NOFA NY:
Please help spread the word that the Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund is now accepting applications for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) folks living in the Northeast who work in agriculture and have been economically impacted by the COVID crisis.
See details below and thank you for sharing with your networks.
With best wishes,
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman

More information.

Some moisture but still dry – additional resources

According to the most recent Drought Monitor much of New York remains abnormally dry, or in moderate to severe drought. There has been interest in planting annuals to provide extra forage for grazing. Most of these annuals need to be planted before August 15. Work with you local Extension staff  to determine if sufficient soil moisture is present to reduce risk of seeding failure. I have posted two new resources at Drought Information page.

To provide more information the NNY Regional Ag Team is presenting a two part webinar series “Management of Forages Through a Season of Drought”.

Part 1: Pasture First Aid for Drought Recovery
Thursday, July 30th, 7-8pm
– A Livestock Perspective – Betsy Hodge Livestock Educator, CCE St. Lawrence
– Getting the Most out of the Rest of the Growing Season … and into 2021 – Kitty O’Neil Field, Crops and Forage Specialist, NCRAT
-Emergency Forage Planting Options for Late Fall & Early Spring – Joe Lawrence Dairy Forage, Systems Specialist, PRO-DAIRY

Part 2: Stored Forages: Winter Feed Supply Beyond the Drought|
Tuesday, August 4th, 7-8pm
-Managing the Remaining Growing Season (planting and harvest options) –Joe Lawrence
-Corn Silage – Getting the Most Out of Your Harvest in a Drought Year—Joe Lawrence
-Forage inventory Management: Assessing and Planning for Winter – Ron Kuck, Ag Program Educator, CCE Cayuga

For more information and to Register.